I feel as if I say this nearly every time I sit down to write one of these Coffee Break posts, but… Time is completely flying by. Wasn’t New Year’s Eve just yesterday? How are we already halfway through February?? And will time ever finally slow down???
…that’s probably wishful thinking, isn’t it? 😉
Since the answer to that last question is probably a resounding “no,” let’s just move right along…
And if that’s what was happening, then this really big life update, one that makes me feel so nervous yet so at peace at the same time, is what I would share with you…
“Put people first.
There will always be time to study longer, to work harder, to earn more. But when we sacrifice every moment in the present to chase those things — a better job, a higher raise, a bigger bank account — what meaning will the future actually hold, when we’ve let those people and those friendships fall by the wayside?
Certain people come into our lives for a reason. Sometimes they’re here once a year, or once a decade, or once a lifetime.
Seize those moments. Love them. Cherish them.
When we come to the end of our lives, those people and the moments we spent with them, not those hours of studying and working and earning, will be what we remember and what matter most. ♡”
I wrote that reminder to myself almost 3 ½ years ago. I shared it on my personal Instagram account, along with a photo of one of my best friends. We had spent the afternoon walking around our old high school campus, watching the annual field show competition the marching band hosted every year, cheering and laughing and catching up.
You’d think that message would’ve sunken in back then…
I still need a reminder… Almost every week, it seems like.
For almost seven years, I’ve worked on Amy’s Healthy Baking nearly seven days a week, nearly every week of the year. Even on weekends, even on vacations, even on holidays… There are always emails to check, comments to respond to, social media posts to share, and DMs to reply to… In addition to the hours and hours of work that go into each and every new recipe that I share: research, testing, retesting, retesting some more, dishes, photography, editing, writing, uploading, social sharing, grocery shopping, you name it.
Don’t get me wrong… I absolutely love my career and feel so incredibly blessed to call Amy’s Healthy Baking my full-time job. I wouldn’t change that at all. Ever. Not in a million years.
As a result, I haven’t fully been there for other people — or for myself.
Almost exactly six years ago, my workaholism started to take a toll on my health. That’s a long story for another day, but in a nutshell, my body stopped functioning. I scheduled appointments with almost a dozen different doctors, and each one said the same thing…
“You’re perfectly healthy on paper. I don’t know what’s wrong.”
I battled every day. I fought to make it through, fought the pain and discomfort, fought to keep baking and recipe testing, even when my body rejected virtually all of the foods I put into it… Including my own healthy homemade ones.
It was hard. So freaking hard.
I worried. I stressed. I hurt.
I cried. A lot.
I questioned myself. I questioned my career. I questioned whether I was even the right girl for this, the right person to share healthy recipes with you when my body was so far from healthy… And I constantly worried that you might find out, that others might call me a hypocrite for creating and posting healthy recipes when “healthy” was the last thing you could call me and my body.
Sure, I did all of the “right” healthy things… I ate healthy foods, exercised daily, got enough sleep…
But my body still wouldn’t function properly. Ever.
Until last December.
For almost three weeks after a trip to Mexico for my close friend’s wedding, all of my symptoms disappeared. All of them. Every single one.
The only difference?
I was fully present, living fully and completely in the present moment, and listening to my body.
When my body said sleep, I slept. When my body said eat, I ate. When my body said relax, I skipped my workouts. When my body said be spontaneous, I stayed up late and danced under the stars. When my body said alone time, I excused myself from previous obligations and found space to be by myself. When my body said be social, I spent time with new and old friends. When my body said write about your emotions and experiences, I wrote. When my body said laugh, I did… so long and so freely and so much.
I stopped worrying… worrying about work, about food, about exercise, about my body’s usual misbehaving… and especially about what others thought of me.
I was in the moment. Simply living in the moment. Feeling so grateful, so peaceful, so in awe of the magic and miracles happening all around me.
I was present. Fully and completely present. Letting myself be Amy… just Amy… and not Amy’s Healthy Baking.
The holidays arrived. They brought the stress of travel, of picking out gifts, of being everywhere and everything that people wanted me to be. The stress of gearing up for January, the busiest time of the year for Amy’s Healthy Baking due to the general population’s health-oriented New Year’s resolutions, and the stress of scheduling as much high-quality content and as many high-quality new recipes as possible.
The stress of returning back to my old habits and old ways…
And my body immediately let me know it.
All of the same health issues returned… and then some. Many felt worse than before.
Yet finally… I knew what caused them. Even though no doctor ever figured it out, I knew.
My body was telling me to slow down. To rest. To pivot. To reevaluate my priorities. To stop being such a workaholic… And to start taking care of myself. To start listening to my inner wisdom and intuition. To trust them. To start putting myself — my body, my heart, and my soul — first.
It scared me. It scared the living daylights right out of me.
Being a Type A overachieving perfectionistic workaholic… That constantly working, pushing, and striving lifestyle was all I had ever known. And now…
Now my body was telling me I needed to do the opposite. To slow down. To rest. To stop working…
And to start living.
To start being the real, true, authentic being I’ve always been all along, even when I tried hiding those quirky and imperfect sides of me… And to start believing that this being, the being I truly am, is still beautiful and incredible and good enough.
I’m still figuring out what that all means. I’m still figuring out the details of what life is going to look like moving forward. I’m still figuring out how to balance my love for you — my infinite love for you and all that you’ve done for me, how you’ve enabled me to make Amy’s Healthy Baking my full-time job and my full income source and how I’m eternally grateful for you and your role in that — and my love of baking… How to balance those with slowing down, resting more, and letting my body and soul be my guide.
By no means is this good-bye. I can definitely promise you that!
I still have hundreds of recipe ideas that I want to try. I still have dozens of brand new blog posts that I’ve already photographed and written coming your way. I still love — with a capital L-O-V-E — doing what I do here, baking and blogging and sharing recipes with you on Amy’s Healthy Baking.
So I think… This is more of a check-in. Of letting you know where I’m at. Of sharing what’s going on behind the scenes and telling you not to worry if there are fewer recipes appearing in your email inbox or your Instagram feed in the upcoming weeks.
And this is also me opening up and inviting you to follow along on this new and different journey, the one where I continue to learn how to be my truest and most authentic self, trusting my soul’s wisdom — rather than the logic of my brain — and letting that guide my footsteps on my life’s path.
I have a feeling that I’m not the only one going through this.
I have a feeling that somewhere out there, maybe you or your friend or even a complete stranger… Maybe somebody else is going through something similar.
Maybe your body hasn’t been going through a health crisis for six years (I certainly hope not!)… But maybe you’re feeling just as lost and confused as I was. Maybe you’re doubting your talents and skills. Maybe you’re wondering if — or desperately hoping — there’s more to life than what’s currently in front of you.
And if that’s true… If any part of that is true…
Then I want you to know you’re not alone.
You are definitely not alone.
For the most part, I’m planning on keeping Amy’s Healthy Baking mostly focused on recipes.
But if you’d like to follow along with everything else, with what I’m learning and sharing as I continue to evolve and grow in this other space… the one more focused on whole-life and whole-body health, trusting my body, listening to my heart and soul’s wisdom, and trusting their guidance… I’ll be sharing that through email here.
It’s an entirely separate email list, completely different from my recipe emails, so if you’ve signed up for my recipe emails and would like to receive these other insights and updates, you’ll still need to sign up for this new email list here.
Regardless of whether you only care about recipes, you have a strong interest in these new insights, or you’re somewhere in between…
I’m still grateful for you. So incredibly grateful for you.
You have impacted my life. You have made a difference, a very big difference, and I truly appreciate that.
Thank you. Thank you for what you’ve done, the role you’ve played, and the beautiful soul that you are. ♡
And I’m so excited to see what this next chapter has in store for both of us.